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Avalon Homes - Residential




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North Port (Southwest Florida) home builder, Avalon Homes was reported to have left their offices "unfurnished, unlocked and deserted" according to a Southwest Florida Herald Tribune article written in December of 2006. Further to the article:

... the small builder has 56 open permits with the city of North Port and officials there have been in touch with Venice-based contractor James Leake -- who qualified the Avalon homes for permits -- to try to get the houses finished.

Avalon's owner/manager Joseph Pufta may have been engaging in certain illicit activities. According to a Tribue article written in April of 2007:

The former head of now-defunct Avalon Homes is charged with 20 felony counts of misapplication of construction funds and one felony count of grand theft.


Pufta's grand theft charge stems from a case where police say a New Jersey woman wrote Avalon Homes a check for $42,180, yet no work was done.

A further Tribue article tells a bit more of the story; apparently, Pufta was relying on funds from new customers to complete the homes of prior customers. Though this seems like a Ponzi scheme at first blush, apparently, Pufta was pumping in his own money to try and keep the business afloat, "It wasn't like he was taking their money and spending it" said Pufta's lawyer. Regardless of the criminal outcome of this case, Pufta is clearly guilty of mismanaging the finances of his company, which has hurt many would-be homeowners.

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Important: This company is on our list of builder operations that have "imploded" (see also ailing lenders). This is a somewhat subjective call, and does not necessarily mean total shutdown or bankruptcy. It can also mean steep and rapid declines in enterprise value; or abnormal "bail-out" by corporate parents or peers in order to continue to operate. The builders may be residential or commercial.